OPTICA selects 12 Entrepreneurs to Watch, meet IPIC’s, Dr. Sanathana Konugolu Venkata Sekar

OPTICA (Optics and Photonics News) has just revealed their 12 entrepreneurs to watch, including SFI Research Centre for Photonics, IPIC’s Dr Sanathana Konugolu Venkata Sekar, who has co-founded BioPixS (est. 2020, an IPIC, Tyndall, UCC Innovation spinout).  BioPixS’ core product delivers a range of phantoms (stand-ins for human tissues) that simulate the interaction of light with tissue, reducing time and cost to develop high-tech biomedical devices. BioPixS’ phantoms also target the reduction of animal use in preclinical trials, providing parallel alternatives.

Dr. Konugolu Venkata Sekar explains “These phantoms serve a pressing need for validation of clinical methodologies, characterisations, calibration of instruments, and standardisation of protocols and lifetime surveillance of clinical devices. Our mission is to be a one-stop solution for all biophotonics standardisation needs. BioPixS will spur innovation and fast track the next generation of biomedical tools.” For more on BioPixS, follow this link.

BioPixS is part of European projects VASCOVID https://vascovid.icfo.eu/ and TinyBrains https://tinybrains.eu/, fasting tracking biomedical device development to market.

Sanathana is currently a Senior Researcher and Biomedical Theme Coordinator at IPIC Biophotonics@Tyndall. His current research work includes the development of next generation microcamera based in body diagnostic/surgical guidance tools, upconverting nanoparticle for deep tissue imaging and immuno-histopathology, GASMAS for neonatal lung monitoring, next generation time of flight spectroscopy for wearable applications.

For further information on OPTICA’s Entrepreneurs to Watch, click here.



21.09.2021 - 11.11.2021

IONS Ireland 2021

(l to r) Alesandra Carmichael Martins, UCD & Andrea Liliana Pacheco Tobo, Tyndall UCC

IONS Ireland 2021 is scheduled to take place virtually 9-11 November, hosted by Student Chapters at IPIC, Tyndall, UCC and UCD. IONS Ireland (International OSA Network of Students) aims to offer an interactive learning experience for optics and photonics students at all levels; including those interested in pursuing such studies.

Some conference highlights:
Students have an opportunity to present their research to peers.
Technical sessions: Tissue Imaging and Applied Spectroscopy; Optical Communications; Integrated Photonics and Optoelectronics; Vision and Applications of Visual Science.
Professional development training, including the exploration of career development opportunities.
Opportunity to engage with leading researchers in the field.

Conference registration is now free! Please click on this link to register.

There are lots of opportunities to network and learn, including OSA Chapter Special: The Wonderful World of Optics, post-conference (in-person) networking event (with travel grants for best poster/presenter), etc.

For further information on the event please visit IONS Ireland 2021

15.10.2021 - 23.06.2022

International Conference on Clinical Spectroscopy

The 12th International Conference on Clinical Spectroscopy will take place in Dublin on June 19 -23 2022.

The exact details of the event will be announced shortly on http://spec2022.org/.


10th International Graduate summer School: Biophotonics ’22

10th International Graduate summer school Biophotonics ’22 will take place from 11 – 18 June 2022.


The purpose of the International Graduate summer school Biophotonics is to provide education for students at the highest international level within the area of optical biosensing led by renowned lecturers from around the world.

Optical biosensing based on optical methods and instruments using light interacting with tissue have emerged as powerful techniques for bio-medical diagnostics, monitoring wide spectra of tissue function and pathology together with therapy. In addition, optical biosensing in conjunction with microfluidics plays a major role in the field of biophotonics and biomedical optics.

The educational programme is held in an international atmosphere enhancing exchange of scientific ideas and technological advances within the fields of biomedical optics and closely related areas.

For more information please see https://www.biop.dk/.


PhotonHub European Photonics Academy

PhotonHub is a New European Academy to boost the skills and know-how of industry in exploiting opportunities in the €615B global photonics sector.


A programme to train thousands of industry workers in the adoption and development of innovative photonics-based solutions to some of society’s biggest challenges, from environmental sustainability to healthy living and smart infrastructure, has been established by a consortium of over 50 of Europe’s top photonics competence centers.

The European Photonics Academy will offer training courses beyond the lecture room with a strong focus on hands-on training. Course attendees will gain real-world experience using state-of-the-art design, manufacturing, test equipment and facilities. The academy’s training centers will offer unique courses across a wide range of photonics technology platforms and application domains. The academy will initially run for four years with the clear intention of becoming a sustainable long-term support to European industry.

Interest in photonics is booming, with the global photonics market estimated to be worth €615B in 2020 and recent research showing that the European photonics market is growing at more than double the rate of global GDP. However, gaining access to the cutting-edge technical know-how and the hands-on skills required to utilize photonics technologies remains difficult for many companies, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The academy, launched by PhotonHub Europe, the full-service one-stop-shop Photonics Innovation Hub funded by the European Commission, will make it easy for SMEs in particular to fully exploit this critical enabling technology for their own innovation activities.

“For the first time the European Photonics Academy means that SMEs have a one-stop-shop to pick and choose from a large menu of training options, making it easy to get the exact training course suited to their needs. Companies can be assured that their employees are getting top quality training from best-in-class facilities since quality assurance is overseen by PhotonHub,” said Prof Peter O’Brien of the UCC Tyndall Institute in Ireland, who leads training support services at the academy. “We expect to support 6,000 European companies with training over the next four years, each sending several employees on one or more of our courses, with several hundred companies immediately taking up photonics technologies in their applications and product manufacturing as early adopters. As a result, we believe the academy will be a massive catalyst for the take-up of photonics by European companies.”

Photonics involves the generation, manipulation and detection of light and is a key enabling digital technology that underpins many existing and emerging applications. Over the next decade photonics will make a significant impact to our everyday lives – transforming industries, tackling critical issues such as climate change, and improving societies across Europe. Some current applications include:

· Agriculture (scanning technology and infrared imaging to monitor food production and quality, and sensor systems for planting and irrigation)

· Green Energy Sources (LED lighting and Photovoltaic devices used for solar electric panels)

· Information Communications Technology (optics for data storage, transmission across fibre-optic networks and displays)

· Life Sciences (testing and analysis devices such as non-invasive glucose monitors and point-of-care and wearable diagnostics)

· Medical Technology (lasers for surgery, photodynamic therapy, smart surgical instruments).

Europe is a global leader in the development of photonics technologies, with much of this innovation generated through research funded by the European Commission. The new academy will allow European workforces access to state-of-the-art photonics technologies and advanced methods of photonics manufacturing through structured training and education. To-date, 40 training centres across Europe have been selected for funding, with 10 more to be announced later this year. Critically all regions of Europe will have access to training, including those with little or no expertise in photonics, with centres as far apart as Ireland, Spain, Finland and Greece.

Three types of training courses are available:

· Online Training, geared towards new entrants to the photonics sector providing a half-day introduction to photonics and an overview of the key enabling power of photonics technologies for wide-ranging applications.

· Demo Centres, offering one-day training courses on-site with a focus on particular photonics technology applications.

· Experience Centres, offering in-depth three-day or five-day training courses with a strong focus on lab-based activities and hands-on working using state-of-the-art equipment and application demonstrator tools.

People wishing to attend any of the Online Training, or either of the Demo or Experience Centre training courses, can browse the training catalogue via the PhotonHub website (https://www.photonhub.eu/our-services/) and register for the particular course of interest to them.

Further details about PhotonHub’s extensive Online Training, and Demo and Experience Centre training courses, can be found in the link here.


explorer 2021: congratulations to winning team APS (Atlantic Photonic Solutions)

We are very excited to announce that APS (Atlantic Photonic Solutions) were the winning team at the recent finals of the explorer programme 2021. Laura Britton presented on behalf of APS, outlining how they use their photonic technology’s ‘sweet spot wavelength’ to delouse farmed salmon, which is the bane of every salmon farmers activities.   APS treatment of lice is safe to the fish and the louse by-product can be used, giving zero waste.  The team have secured EU funding to bring their patented process to commercialization.  We are very excited to see this innovative team grow and succeed even further.   For more information on APS please see https://zaps.ie/

We also celebrate the competing teams – AIC; Creative Connections; Enegma; InPhoSS and INSPIRES who each excelled in terms of their commitment and engagement to the explorer programme and in advancing their journey’s towards commercializing their technologies.

We would like to thank our explorer partners – IPCEI; Tyndall National Institute; Osram Opto Semiconductors and IQE, and all those who contributed to making the programme a great success.   In particular, we would also like to thank Programme Director, Helen Fullen, Alinea, for her great work in leading and delivering explorer and supporting the teams throughout.

For further information please see: https://www.tyndall.ie/explorer

Please send expressions of interest and any questions to explorer@tyndall.ie



Photonics Ireland Conference 2021

PHOTONICS IRELAND virtual conference 2021 is taking place 14-16 June 2021. Photonics Ireland is “the premier event in Ireland bringing together key people in the academic and industry sectors to present state of the art research and challenges in the area of photonics, on national and international levels“.

The schedule includes a panel of nationally and internationally renowned speakers, academic posters sharing the latest developments in photonics research and an industry session allowing academia and industry to share latest insights, build relationships and develop collaborations.

For further information please see http://photonicsireland2020.ie/


Biophotonics breakthrough on colon cancer detection

Researchers in Biophotonics team at IPIC are developing a more effective and less invasive way to diagnose and treat colorectal cancer, which is the third most common type of cancer in the world and the second most deadly, in partnership with clinicians at Mercy University Hospital (MUH) and Cork University Hospital (CUH).

They have created a tool for non-invasive surgical guidance and early disease detection using biophotonics technology, a light-based instrument that senses and differentiates tissues more accurately and faster.

The team’s research has just been published in the Nature journal, Scientific Reports, describing how the use of biophotonics can help to radically improve health outcomes for patients as it is a less invasive method and provides more comprehensible information to clinicians and surgeons in real-time, particularly in the area of colon cancer.

Pre-clinical and clinical studies with patients who have gastrointestinal diseases and oral cancer are expected to commence in the MUH and CUH in late 2021.

The Biophotonics team at Tyndall, at UCC, is researching non-invasive techniques that are more accurate and faster than conventional detection methods. Following the initial positive results that validate the idea, they are now developing a probe for colon cancer detection during colonoscopy, which can investigate additional types of biomolecules located at different tissue depths by using extended wavelength range.

This technology will help surgeons to take biopsies at the right places, as currently they have no guidance as to where to request a biopsy, which will obviate the need for multiple biopsies or polypectomies.  It could also help identify more subtle abnormalities such as premalignancies invisible through colonoscopes and medical devices.

Further information on Tyndall’s biophotonics teams’ research into colorectal diagnoses and treatment can be seen in Scientific Reports ‘Evaluation of wavelength ranges and tissue depth probed by diffuse reflectance spectroscopy for colorectal cancer detection.’


Photonics 4 Tomorrow’s World


The Photonics 4 Tomorrow’s World workshop will present the latest developments in photonics research, its transition from lab to market and platforms that support this agenda, such a EU pilot lines. It is organized by the Irish Photonics Integration Centre at Tyndall National Institute, in collaboration with Photonics Ireland.

The workshop will include a presentation session followed by a networking/poster session enabled through Remo’s highly interactive platform that will enable researchers and engineers discuss latest breakthroughs and emerging market opportunities.

Applications areas will include displays, marine, MedTech, optical communications, sensing, as well as many others.

For more information please contact info@ipic.ie.


IPIC & Tyndall seek applicants for Deep Tech start up programme


Individuals or teams with scalable ideas are invited to apply to a new explorer pre-accelerator programme with €20,000 prize fund and access to Europe’s semiconductor leaders.

“do you have a great idea for a new product or service?

we want to hear from you!

explorer, a deep-tech pre-accelerator, is currently accepting applications for its 2021 programme aimed at empowering European entrepreneurs with deep-tech ideas.”

Irish Photonics Integrated Centre (IPIC) is delighted to announce the launch of a new pre-accelerator programme for deep-tech start-ups, in partnership with the IPCEI European cluster collaboration, and international high-tech photonics companies OSRAM Opto Semiconductors (OSRAM) and IQE.

The ultimate goal of explorer is to stimulate the formation of high value deep-tech ventures, which will in turn support the growth of the Irish economy and jobs.  Global investment in deep-tech has soared from $9.8bn in 2015 to $17.8bn in 2018, with €7.7 billion in Europe alone in 2019. By investing in this sector Ireland will remain at the forefront of new technologies and fast-growing companies.  The programme aims to help emerging entrepreneurial ideas and early-stage start-ups in the area of photonics and microelectronics – covering technology areas such as energy efficient chips, power semi-conductors, smart sensors, advanced optical equipment, and compound materials and applications.

The four-month programme, running from February to May 2021, will help entrepreneurial explorers to stress test their idea and learn from the best European semiconductor companies, such as OSRAM and IQE. Participants will be introduced to start-up tools and methodologies; given access to resources; and they will be briefed on leading edge developments in opto-electronics and microelectronics, as investigated by IPCEI.  explorer will also offer an opportunity for peer-to-peer learning and to build industrial collaborations across Europe. In addition, the programme will prepare and introduce participants to next stage supports, including grant funding and investment.

The call for entries is now open to any resident of the Republic of Ireland or Europe, in research or in industry, who have a deep-tech idea at start-up stage.  Entrants should preferably have a globally scalable concept, and ideally be a team (more than one person).  They must also not have previously received investment funding for the idea to be explored.  Start-ups accepted onto explorer will not be charged fees and no equity will be taken.

Overall, six ideas will be selected to participate, culminating in a programme showcase where one winner will receive a cash prize of €20,000.

Through the programme participants will also engage with deep-tech companies located in Ireland to explore future technology and manufacturing challenges, and opportunities on how the Irish community can work together to build a sustainable and competitive trans-European industry.

The explorer lead, Head of Photonics Operations and IPIC Centre Manager Dr. Patrick Morrissey said “We are looking to identify and support emerging start-up ideas in the area of deep-tech to stimulate new high value ventures that will have economic value, impact and international reachThere are huge opportunities for Ireland to lead the way in deep-tech solutions. We are already competing in technology development and initiatives such as this will sharpen Ireland’s competitive edge and create new SMEs and jobs across a variety of sectors. €7.7 billion was invested in deep-techs in Europe in 2019 alone, so the value to our economy is considerable.

“We are seeking to attract people with an explorer-type personality, very much like John Tyndall. Tyndall had a fearless personality and demonstrated this through his scientific experiments, explanations and through his mountaineering exploits. We want to continue his legacy and recruit applicants that are as daring as he was.  At this stage all we need are great ideas at an early stage”

“Those selected will come away from the explorer programme with idea validation, an expanded network across Europe’s leading semiconductor companies, and investment opportunities.”

The Programme will be delivered remotely by Tyndall, IPIC, Osram, and IQE, in partnership with IPCEI companies, who will provide technology mentors that will offer advice on the technology, its development and related areas such a supply chain development. This will ensure that each team will have a comprehensive training and mentorship support structure covering both technology and commercial activities.

Participants will also have access to relevant government agencies such as Enterprise Ireland, IDA and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), during the Pre-Accelerator programme and the outreach event.

Following the Pre-Accelerator Programme, an invitation only Outreach Event will take place in Cork, or virtually, which will bring together over 150 senior representatives from global deep-tech companies, from multinationals to SMEs, from ICT to Medical device companies, along with representatives from the IPCEI partner companies, relevant Irish government agencies and the project partners.

The event, which will take place in June 2021, will focus on Europe’s future deep-tech technology and advanced manufacturing needs to support existing and new emerging markets, and it will explore ideas on how the represented organisations can work together to address the needs and deliver economic growth.

Apply online by midnight on 18th January at www.tyndall.ie/Explorer or email queries to explorer@tyndall.ie.

For more information please visit explorer.


Tyndall and IPIC Internship Programme


IPIC & Tyndall are offering 20 places for a paid summer internship programme in 2021. Our interns have the opportunity to work with world-class researcher teams on immersive 12-week projects. Our interns will have access to world-leading research environments at the cutting edge of deep-tech research.

Our interns will have the opportunity to gain career skills through the parallel development programme. Interns will participate in training workshops, build knowledge in research commercialization, communications and poster presentation and have the opportunity to network with current PhDs and industry partners.

Internship places are available in the following research themes:


Monolithic & Heterogeneous Integrations

Optical Communications

Packaging & Hybrid Integrations

Emerging Materials & Devices

Micro-Power Platforms

Integrated Sensors

Smart Systems

Wireless RF Communications

Applications closed Friday 21st January 2021

‘The programme has proved an invaluable and extremely enjoyable experience for me, one which I would recommend to anyone seriously interested in a research career in the future.’

‘Spending time in Tyndall has always given me more perspective and understanding as to what a research career means.’

“I wouldn’t have thought of doing a PhD, and now I’m looking forward to doing one”


Internship Programme 2021 Application Form

Internship Programme 2021 Theme Information

Internship Programme 2021 FAQ


BioPixS selected as one of EI’s Big Ideas 2020


We are proud to announce that BioPixS has been selected amongst 12 Enterprise Ireland’s Big Ideas 2020, a showcase which enables highest quality early-stage research-led start-ups across Ireland to pitch their ideas to investors and researchers.

Each year, the Enterprise Ireland event highlights not only the high standard of Irish research but also the accomplishments of Ireland’s national technology transfer system.

The Big Ideas 2020 showcase will be taking place online on 25 November and puts Irish innovation in the spotlight with 12 pitches made to an audience made up of the country’s research and investment communities. This time, the investor-ready start-ups are all strongly ingrained in research at higher-education institutes across the country.

For more information visit siliconrepublic.com.




SFI Frontiers Award for Prof. Tia Keyes


Prof. Tia Keyes, an IPIC Principal Investigator and a professor of physical chemistry at the School of Chemical Sciences as well as a member of the National Centre for Sensor Research at Dublin City University, has been awarded one of the prestigious research grants through SFI Frontiers for the Future Programme.

Prof. Keyes was one of 26 successful candidates announced on November 2 by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD.

A project led by Prof. Keyes at Dublin City University will develop probes that highlight specific stretches of DNA inside living cells, which will have applications in assessing cell damage during screening of new drug candidates.

When asked about the significance of her work, Prof. Keyes explained ‘Optical microscopy has advanced dramatically over the past 20 years to the point where it is now possible to resolve and follow single biomolecules within living cells.  However, to work optimally, these methods require probes; light emitting molecules, that can spontaneously enter the cell, target the site of interest, and that have been specifically designed to withstand tough imaging conditions while responding in readable ways to their environment.  This programme will design new molecular tools for use with super-resolution microscopy methods.  The molecules are built with zip-coded structures in the design that promotes their transport into living cells and tumors and precisely directs them to destinations where they target DNA and other biomolecules. These tools will provide new insights into our cells biochemistry, response to molecular therapeutics and light based therapy for disease’.

For more details on the SFI Frontiers awards and a complete list of successful awardees please visit SFI’s News page.


Invisible Light Exhibition – Art Meets Science at the Crawford Gallery


Art meets Science in Invisible Light, an expansive new exhibition from The School of Looking funded by Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Discover Programme, which reignites the heritage of Crawford Art Gallery as an institution for both artistic and scientific endeavour.

Through an ambitious, collaborative endeavour with Tyndall National Institute and the Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC), Invisible Light imaginatively explores the Electromagnetic Spectrum in its relationship to history, society, artistic creation and art conservation.

Just as we can describe the spectrum of visible light in seven colours – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet – we can also divide the Electromagnetic Spectrum into seven zones. The middle zone – the smallest – is the only one we call visible, but in truth they are all visible to us now. The invention and construction of machine eyes to see all this invisible light has been a collective project since the late nineteenth century, and a vision revolution that has made the whole universe visible to us.

Men and women of science have slowly rendered visible the entire range of energy frequencies that permeates our universe – Gamma Rays, X-Rays, Infrared Radiation, Visible Light, Ultraviolet Radiation, Microwaves, Radio Waves – and imagined extraordinary applications for them, including inventions that have progressed society in countess ways, saving lives, allowing us to see into the molecular structure of our cells, gaze far into the universe, and peer behind micron-thin layers of paint to reveal the secrets of the Grand Masters of art.

Marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of visionary Irish scientist John Tyndall (1820-1893), artists Anne Cleary and Denis Connolly from The School of Looking have worked closely with scientists from Tyndall National Institute and Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC), and curators at Crawford Art Gallery to imagine an exhibition that truly unites art and science.

Invisible Light shares this adventure with the public, through seven newly commissioned artworks, each one exploring a region of the Electromagnetic Spectrum and accompanied by seven Ray Days, days of safe public engagement dedicated to each separate type of radiation.

Invisible Light receives its world premiere at Crawford Art Gallery and, in 2021, will represent Ireland at the Universal Exhibition in Dubai.

For more information on booking a Ray Day go to: https://www.eventbrite.ie/o/crawford-art-gallery-15384679145

Follow IPIC on Twitter and Instagram.




Interested in becoming a Future Photonics Research Leader? Register your interest to join the MSCA and SFI COFUND Sparkle Fellowship Training Programme today! Joining the programme will help you to refine your research skills and present you with opportunities to build on skills highly desired in the academic and industrial world; project management, communication, prototype development and tech transfer.

Have an idea you want to develop and see it grow to a commercialised product? By joining Sparkle you will have the academic freedom and opportunity to leverage the expertise of the team and numerous industry partners to help see this through.

Click HERE to find out more details on the application process.

Open call is running to Jan 29th 2021.



Light up Lockdown – presented by PIADS and Photonics


In Lighting up Lockdown you will meet some of our students who took part in Glasgow Science Festival. They will guide you through photonics experiments that can be done at home.  Photonics is the technology of generating and harnessing light (photons).   Safety first, be very careful if using a laser pointer, follow instructions!   To meet our students and discover recipe cards follow this link

The Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Photonic Integration and Advanced Data Storage (PIADS) is a partnership between the Irish Photonic Integration Centre, Queen’s University Belfast and University of Glasgow.  These partners are collaborating on solutions to the ever increasing quantities of data generated by today’s society.

The Centre’s focus is on developing highly-manufacturable photonic integration technologies related to the magnetic storage of digital information.  However, the development of these technologies will be relevant to a wide spectrum of end-users – from telecommunications to biophotonics, in which optical technologies are applied to living organisms and health care.

For more information on CDT-PIADS visit our website or follow IPIC on Twitter.

Associated twitter links:





Launch of IPIC spinout company BioPixS


UCC Innovation has announced the launch of BioPixS, the latest spinout collaboration between IPIC SFI Research Centre, Tyndall National Institute, and UCC Innovation. BioPixS’ vision is to translate cutting-edge research into hi-tech, innovative solutions to impact the BioPhotonics market. Biophotonics is a multidisciplinary research area that focusses on the application of light-based technologies to life sciences and medicine. The BioPixS mission is to create standards in the field of Biophotonics through phantoms that simulate light interaction in scattering media like human tissue. BioPixS’ products will reduce the cost and time needed to develop hi-tech biomedical devices in photonics. On a social front, BioPixS’ phantoms target to reduce the animals used in preclinical trials by providing parallel solutions and optimise clinical trials, promoting a better world for our future generations.

For more information please see article


IPIC welcomes 5 new PhD students as part of CDT-PIADS 2020 Cohort


The EPSRC and SFI Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Photonic Integration and Advanced Data Storage (PIADS) in partnership with IPIC, Queen’s University Belfast & Glasgow University, offers students a cutting-edge research environment to undertake a diverse and exciting range of topical doctoral research projects in the cross-disciplinary areas of physics, materials and electrical and optical engineering with commercial applications as diverse as data storage and biosciences.

The 2020 cohort have been welcomed virtually by the CDT-PIADS team, with a week-long session of inductions including introductions to the IPIC Principal Investigators,  two new Tyndall-based advanced training courses, some team building and two interactive sessions hosted by David McGovern, Sr. Business Development Manager for IPIC, in a workshop session on Research Commercialization and Caitríona Tyndall, Public Engagement Manager for IPIC on Education and Public Engagement.


PIADS page on IPIC website

PIADS website

PIADS twitter


Tyndall ChirpComm Team Wins 2020 IPIC NDRC Pre-Commercialisation Showcase


Congratulations to Tyndall researchers Xing OuyangBrian Murray and Simone Iadanza on winning 1st place in the 2020 IPIC NDRC Pre-Commercialisation Showcase with their startup ChirpComm.

ChirpComm provides an advanced signal modulation solution for the next-generation wireless communication networks beyond 5G, with much higher capacity and better tolerances, while still being compatible with current modulation technology in 5G chipsets. This dramatically lowers the cost for upgrading and paves the way towards a new ultra-fast information technology age.

For more information please see here.


Culture Night 2020


IPIC are once again looking forward to participating in Culture Night on Friday 18th September.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are sad not to be welcoming visitors to Tyndall National Institute on the night but we look forward to participating in a fun and dynamic online event.  In partnership with a number of groups across Tyndall, we will bring the guests on a busy journey on Zoom where they can learn about the various research happening across Tyndall and also get hands-on with some simple at-home experiments.  Siddra Maryam from the Biophotonics team will take our guests through the Secret Spectrum workshop and help them build their own spectrometers.  Once built, guests can explore what colour is light using different light sources at home.

Culture Night at Tyndall will offer something for both young and old.  We look forward to seeing you on the night from the comfort of your own home.

Booking essential at the following link.  Make sure you register by 10am on Friday 11th September to receive your event materials by post.


Irish start-up BioPixS secures EU funding to support develop innovative Covid-19 response


On the 11th of August 2020, the European Commission announced funding for 23 projects targeting innovative and rapid health-related approaches to respond to Covid-19. One of these projects, VASCOVID, includes Irish SME BioPixS, Tyndall’s recent start-up company launched from the SFI funded centre IPIC. VASCOVID will develop a portable, non-invasive monitoring platform for the assessment of microvascular health in Covid-19 patients requiring mechanical ventilation, in the intensive care setting. Combining two technologies based on state-of-the-art bio-photonics and artificial intelligence, namely time-resolved near-infrared spectroscopy and diffuse correlation spectroscopy, it will enable real-time evaluation of cardiopulmonary interactions. This will provide clinical information of heart-lung interactions in critically ill patients, thereby supporting ventilatory strategies, with a specific target to reduce extubation failure during the process of weaning patients from mechanical ventilation.

The project is led by the Institut de Ciències Fotòniques (ICFO) and BioPixS will provide novel phantoms to fast track instrument development. This will enable a standardized approach to characterisation/verification, and also provide quality control during day to day operations of the VASCOVID device. In announcing their participation, BioPixS CEO Sanathana Konugolu Venkata Sekar highlighted “It is a proud moment for us to be in position to utilise our best in class phantoms to support the development and deployment of an instrument with the potential to aid Intensive Care Units across the globe in their care of Covid-19 patients”.

Commenting on the announcement Prof Paul Townsend, IPIC Director, said “This is a great example of how world leading Irish research, and it’s advancement to market through start-up companies, is helping to address the Covid-19 pandemic.”


IPIC to host prestigious Marie Sklodowska-Curie Global Fellowship


The Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC) has been successfully selected by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 initiative to host a prestigious Marie Sklodowska-Curie Global Fellowship.

The successful IPIC’s awardee, Dr. Pietro Pampili from the III-Nitride Materials Group, will carry out work as part of a RESENSE initiative, a highly innovative project that seeks to develop new materials for use in UV sensors and whose proposed outcomes will have applications in fields such as industrial processing, space research, defence and medicine.

Dr. Pampili is going to carry out the outgoing phase of the project at Nagoya University, Japan, under the joint supervision of Prof. Hiroshi Amano (2014 Nobel Physics Laureate) and Prof. Markus Pristovsek before he returns to Tyndall for the final 12 months under the supervision of Prof. Peter Parbrook. At the start of this project, Dr Pampili will also carry out an initial 3-month secondment period with ON Semiconductor (SensL which was originally a Tyndall spinout in 2004 but was acquired in 2018 by ON Semiconductor), in order to gain a better understanding of the industrial requirements for possible future commercialization of these devices.

RESENSE aims to use N-polar AlGaN materials to tackle problems associated with (a) satisfactory p-type doping and (b) separation of the photo-generated carriers. This material orientation has the potential to favour incorporation of p-type impurities and induce higher electric fields for carrier separation. Different Metal Organic Vapour Phase Epitaxy (MOVPE) growth conditions will be studied to control the growth of N-polar AlN templates and magnesium doped AlGaN epilayers. Finally, a prototype of solar-blind UV photodetector based on AlGaN/AlGaN heterostructure will be grown, fabricated and fully characterized.

For more information please visit Tyndall website



Tyndall Launches Bicentennial Celebrations


This year marks the bicentennial of John Tyndall, the physicist for whom we are named and Ireland’s most important Victorian scientist. His achievements range from proving the connection between atmospheric CO2 and the greenhouse effect to, most famously, the explanation for why the sky is blue.

A number of festivities encompasses Tyndall Science at Home (02 – 15 August), Heritage Week (15 – 23 August) and Science Week (08 – 15 November) as appropriate bookends for the celebration of a man who is such a significant Irish historical figure and such an important physicist, passionate scientist and dedicated educator.

For more information please visit Tyndall website



JPhys Photonics Emerging Leaders 2020


Congratulations to an IPIC researcher, Dr. Agnieszka Gocalinska, who has been nominated by JPhys Photonics for a prestigious Emerging Leaders 2020 award.


In keeping with the Journal of Physics Series’ 50th anniversary celebratory initiative in 2017, JPhys Photonics has brought together the best early-career researchers in materials science and published their exceptional work in an annual collection dedicated to ‘Emerging leaders’.

An emerging leader is defined as a top researcher in their field who completed their PhD in 2009 or later (10 years excluding career breaks). A limited number of early career researchers have been nominated by the journal’s Editorial Boards as the most talented and exciting researchers in their generation.

Dr. Gocalinska, who is an expert of III-V growth and a recognised leader in MOVPE metamorphic growth, is the only female nominee for the award.

For more information please visit the IOPscience website.



PIADS Summer Conclave 2020


EPSRC and SFI Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Photonic Integration and Advanced Data Storage (PIADS) has kicked off their Summer Conclave 2020. Join the Team to hear all about the exciting research they have been working on.

For more information please visit their Twitter account.



Second Advertising Campaign for SPARKLE


Second Advertising campaign for SPARKLE is now open. Candidates are welcome to apply for one of the prestigious Marie-Curie H2020 COFUND PostDoctoral Researcher positions in the area of Photonics Research and Innovation. Deadline for submissions is the 30th of September 2020.

For more information please visit SPARKLE and academicposts.com



Pre-Commercialisation Programme Showcase with NDRC


An open invitation to all to join IPIC’s Pre-Commercialisation Programme Showcase with NDRC. The event will take place on Monday, the 29th of June 2020, at 10.30 am.


Please contact Helen Fullen at helen.fullen@ndrc.ie to receive an invitation for the event.


Optics & Photonics News – Coronavirus Diaries


As part of the Coronavirus Diaries, Optics & Photonics News spoke to Andrea Pacheco to get her perspective on how the COVID-19 crisis has affected her lives and work, and what the pandemic means for Photonics in general.

For further information please see:



Respiratory Solution for Emergency Use in the Fight Against COVID19


In response to the global COVID-19 emergency, Tyndall National Institute has established high-volume manufacturing capacity of open access sealed scuba diving masks for non-invasive ventilation of COVID-19 patients globally. The launch of Dmask.ie website has been announced on the 17th of April 2020 and provides resources available to the global community.

For further details please see:


27.05.2020 - 28.05.2020

Photonics Public Private Annual Meeting 2020

Brussels, Belgium

The next Photonics PPP Annual Meeting will take place on May 27th – 28th, 2020 in the conference centre The EGG in Brussels. Topics covered during the meeting will include discussions on the Horizon Europe programme, developing strategic application roadmaps and seeking new collaboration partners.

Location: Brussels, Belgium

For further details and online registration see